School Board follows procedure, plans to request $1 million
Mary E. Hinds News Herald
The Loudon County Board of Education voted in favor of requesting funds from the Loudon County Commission Thursday night. The money would go to pay for more firm estimates on the cost of the first projects of the system’s building program. 

Commissioner Austin Shaver made a motion at last Monday’s commission meeting to release $1 million to the school board to pay for engineering and architectural drawings and cost estimates to get a better idea of how much Phase I of the building program the county can afford to fund.

The commission had earlier in the evening voted to limit funds to what could be raised without a property tax increase. While most commissioners seemed in favor of releasing the money to the school board, Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp spoke up telling the commissioners it was the school board’s place to request the funds before the commission acted. 

At Thursday’s school board meeting, Transportation Director Gil Luttrell, who was filling in for the vacationing Director of Schools Wayne Honeycutt, said on the advise of the county commission, the board should consider requesting $1million from the commission to get “bid worthy drawings,” to “get the building program going.” 

School board member Van Shaver immediately moved to request the money for “hard numbers” on building program costs.  Board member Bill Marcus suggested the motion be changed to request $2 million.

“We don’t have to spend all the $2 million,” Marcus said adding it would be better to have enough money instead of having to request more from the commission should $1 million prove to be inadequate.

“One million should be more than adequate,” Shaver replied adding that he thought the commission’s intent was to take out a short term loan that could be paid back from Fund 156 with no interest while they would have to borrow $2 million and pay interest on it. 

County Commissioner Wayne Gardin, who was in the audience, confirmed that the commission was prepared to release the $1 million until Arp said it was inappropriate to release the funds until the school board had formerly requested them. 

After more debate the board voted to request “up to $1 million” from the county commission to get better cost estimates for architectural and engineering drawings for the building program.